NICE update – Equality Impact Assessment v2

The first Equality Impact Assessment published by NICE back in March 2016 raised the possibility that EM on dark skin might need drawing to the attention of doctors. However, the decision was that clinicians were used to assessing rashes on all populations so this didn’t need a separate recommendation. That first assessment also raised that pregnant women and immunocompromised people might need to be be considered separately with respect to diagnostic test accuracy and treatment.

Following the consultation on the scope of the guideline, several stakeholders raised concerns that transmission between people should be considered. A number also raised that pregnant woman and other immunocompromised individuals should have special consideration. The scope was amended to take both these points into account, and in the Final Scope the section Key areas that will be covered includes

5. Transmission of the disease between people including transmission in pregnancy.

The second Equality Impact Assessment has now been published, to reflect the change in the scope, and states

“Further to consultation comments, we have included a question to determine the evidence base for person to person transmission of Lyme disease acknowledging the potential issues related to pregnancy and need for focused recommendations if appropriate evidence is found.”

There is still no news on members of the committee despite the fact that the first meeting is scheduled for 3 weeks time. It is possible that following the difficulties in recruitment, some members have only recently been selected; NICE has to go through a long process of following up references, receiving signed forms etc. before confirming positions.